How to be safe from old toxins
If you’re thinking about having your older home (before 1980) renovated, there could be some nasty substances right under your nose ‒ literally. These toxins can be released into the air – and therefore your lungs – during demolition. The most common ones are asbestos, lead, silica, mercury, arsenic and others found in many common building materials.
Your professional renovator knows all about them, and it’s one of the reasons why their expertise is so important. They’re trained to know them. RenoMark™ renovators attend seminars in order to stay up to date on them. They also know how to dispose of them and how to keep everybody safe.
Workers on site must wear protective equipment and make sure the substances don’t enter their bodies through skin, lungs, or digestive system.
The toxins live in plaster, in the air during demolition, in paint, old mortar, and old water pipes; in old light switches, fluorescent lights, old heaters, thermostats and thermometers; in granite, concrete, cement, and brick (when it is cut, ground, or drilled).
They also live in decks, walkways, fences, gazebos, docks and playground equipment built before 2002 (when arsenic was a common wood preservative for use in outdoor areas where there was high moisture).
They are present in new materials, too, and that’s why it’s so critical to know what finishing materials or products are going into your renovation. When you use a professional renovator, they let you know what not to use, and which products ‒ particularly cabinets, carpeting and flooring ‒ are safe. Many safe finishes and preservatives have come on the market in recent years, so no one needs to use the kind of harmful substances of the past. Professional renovators select materials that have an international or national standard certification, such as Canadian Standards Association or Underwriters Laboratories.
Before you restore or renovate an older home, be aware. Be sure. Let your professional renovator guide you – and keep you safe.